In May 2017, a public-private partnership of civil society, public institutions and private companies created Agua Tica, the first water fund in Costa Rica. The fund´s objective is to contribute to water security in the Great San José Metropolitan Area (GAM), a key region where population growth, changes in land use and historic scarcity have affected water resources. Agua Tica will benefit a total of 2.3 million people.
Water funds are an innovative conservation model based on broad partnerships that invest in natural (green) infrastructure. They also help integrate water management and the governance of water resources by securing long-term financing of conservation actions that ensure the health of rivers and watersheds. Agua Tica is part of the Latin America Water Funds Partnership, created by The Nature Conservancy, the FEMSA Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Global Environment Facility. Agua Tica is the first public-private and civil society water fund in Central America. BLP is a strategic partner in the creation and sustainability of this initiative and led its legal structuring. Other partners are AyA, CRUSA Foundation, Dirección de Aguas de Costa Rica, ESPH, FIFCO, FUNDECOR, UNAGUAS, Banco Nacional, UNA and UNA-SIL.
The degradation of natural resources and changes in rain patterns made creating the fund a strategy that can ensure water provision to 57% of the population in Costa Rica. Among the actions the fund will finance are restoration, good agriculture practices, assisted and natural regeneration, agroforestry systems, forest protection activities, and environmental education.
Agua Tica will contribute to the protection of water resources in the sub-basins of the Grande and Virilla Rivers, which are part of the basin of the Grande de Tárcoles River, directly impacting the GAM and 75% of the country´s industry. The fund will also impact 33 cantons, 23 micro basins and nearly 164,000 hectares. Agua Tica has seed funding of $200,000
In 2019, as a result of its innovation in addressing the global challenge of water resource security, Agua Tica received recognition as one of the five best water security projects in the world, within the framework of the SDG Action Zone carried out at the United Nations headquarters in New York. This forum distinguished Agua Tica as a powerful example of initiatives that provide solutions to the greatest challenges worldwide in the framework of Sustainable Development Goals. BLP supported Agua Tica and Fundecor, the foundation that directs its activities, in the registry of their brands and logos pro bono.